Mad Analysis: What Does "Tolerance" Mean?
It must be election time in the United States because moral values so many people couldn’t care less about one way or the other are again at center stage. The latest involves the owner of a restaurant chain who said he supports traditional marriage and opposes “gay marriage”. He was immediately branded an intolerant bigot and the mayors of Chicago, Boston and San Francisco said his business will no longer be welcome in their cities because the owner does not share their “values”. So, the narrative today is very simple; if you oppose gay “marriage” you’re a bigoted homophobe, “intolerant” and that’s all there is to it. So, even if you do no harm to a person, even if you do not slander or threaten a person but if you simply disagree with a person that now makes you “intolerant”? Yes, and even worse today it seems. I really cannot understand it. When did “tolerance” come to mean never saying or doing anything that might cause offense or hurt feelings?
The whole nature of this argument frankly baffles me. By long established tradition “marriage” is defined as the permanent union of one man and one woman. Now, a vocal minority wants to change that definition and when anyone complains about that or voices opposition the retort is that you are being discriminatory by not treating them just like everyone else. What? I’m confused. Of course they are being treated different than everyone else because their behavior is different from that of everyone else. If they were behaving just like everyone else there would be no reason to change the definition in the first place. The vast majority of humanity is heterosexual, if it wasn’t we would have died out a long time ago. Homosexuals are something different and I fail to see how they can legitimately complain about not being treated like everyone else while at the same time demanding that rules, traditions and the meaning of words be changed in order to accommodate their differences. They say they want “tolerance” and that those who oppose them are being “intolerant” but I don’t think they understand the meaning of the word.
Does this name-calling annoy me? You bet it does but only because I would rather not even have to deal with this subject at all. This is why it infuriates me to be called a bigot and a hatemonger and a homophobe in these arguments -because I don’t want to know who is or is not a homosexual in the first place! It would be pretty hard for me to be prejudiced against a homosexual if I had no idea that person was a homosexual and frankly I would prefer it that way. It makes me feel a little persecuted myself that I am not allowed to remain blissfully ignorant about the sexual habits of others. I am a big believer in privacy. What people do in their own homes is their own business. I don’t want to control it, I don’t even want to know about it. I don’t care, don’t know and don’t want to know who is doing what with whom. I really don’t! Yet, I, and the rest of the public along with me, are being forced to address these issues -and I don’t like it. I don’t like having to deal with it and I certainly don’t like being portrayed as the “bad guy” by people to whom I have done absolutely no harm. That seems utterly idiotic to me.
I am not and I am not for forcing anyone to do anything in their private lives; in their home lives. I’m also not very impressed with any law that is practically impossible to enforce as any law regulating consensual sexual behavior would be. In my life I have known quite a few people who were unusual or outside the mainstream but I was always told, since I was very small, that what people do on their own place is their own business and no one else’s. As far as I’m concerned they can do what they want with who they want and call it what they want and it’s none of my business. How can I be the “intolerant” one when I have not harmed or restricted anyone in anyway and would prefer to know nothing about what other people do in the first place? Yet, I am and it all comes down to a single issue these days: gay “marriage” and that, at its core, boils down to one simple, pertinent point: approval. Ultimately, that is it and ultimately that is why I think it is absurd and ridiculous and grossly unjust for the advocates of this to portray me and people like me as “intolerant”. They’re not looking for tolerance, they’re looking for approval.
I don’t even understand how opposing gay “marriage” could really be homophobic. To me, that would only make sense if the law said that two homosexual men could not get married but two heterosexual men could, which it doesn’t because that would be silly. In any event, some want their relationships to have the same legal status as that of other legally married people. Why? You don’t need the government to make a commitment to someone and you don’t need the government to give you a license to behave as you please in your own home. The only reason I can see is that these people want government recognition, sanction and effectively the “blessing” of the government of this country which rules on behalf of “we the people”. And that is where I am forced to get involved -forced- in something I have no desire to. By my vote and by my words they want me, through my government and personally if they ever met me, to say what they’re doing is okay. That is what it comes down to. They don’t just want me to let them do it, they want me, through our representative government, to officially and publicly approve of them doing it. I cannot. I will not.
I do not think this is being “intolerant”. I do not think this is being bigoted or prejudiced. There is plenty in the world I tolerate but I do not and do not have to approve of any of it. What frustrates me is that I cannot for the life of me understand why so many seem to want or need my approval in the first place. The advocates of this change intrude on my blissful ignorance about the private lives of others, stick their actions and desires in my face and demand that I approve of it. When I disapprove, after being forced to make the decision, they call me a bigot! If you find it “offensive” that I disapprove of your behavior, don’t expect any sympathy from me since I never asked you to seek my approval in the first place. I am far from the best person to consult on any matter concerning marriage. I am a confirmed bachelor who wouldn’t get married if you paid me. If I ever get the urge I will simply stop a random stranger, ask them to kick me as hard as they can and then take all my money. It would still save me a lot of time and aggravation. Because of this, some probably think I am not even entitled to an opinion on this subject. Well, I think I do since, certainly with no prompting on my part, the advocates of this change asked me to approve of their actions! They not only “asked” me for my opinion, they demanded it!
Whenever I dwell on this subject I cannot help but think of a scene in “A Man for All Seasons” in which the soon-to-be-condemned Thomas More says that he does none harm, he speaks none harm and he thinks none harm and if this is not enough to keep him alive then he longs not to live. When it comes to the gay and pro-gay community, if the fact that I do not and have no desire to tell them how to live their lives, that I do not harm them and that I have neither the power nor the inclination to force them to stop doing anything they choose is not enough to keep me from being called a bigot and intolerant -I cannot regard such people as any sort of victims or any sort of oppressed class. If the only way these people will refrain from slandering me and my religion is for me to publicly approve of their actions and call what they do something I do not believe it is, sorry, there is intolerance on display -and it ain’t coming from me. Tolerance is not the same thing as acceptance and calling people names when they will not conform to your way of thinking is the exact opposite of being “tolerant”. I'm sick of it and I'm not going to put up with it anymore. I hereby declare myself entitled to ignore anyone who uses such tactics.
I wouldn't go so far as to encourage (either actively or passively) something that I believe is gravely immoral, and I would be against any kind of legislation that transformed marriage into something so broad that it no longer has any real substantial definition with a reason for it that I can see (nor a reason I can see as to why anyone would want it)--but on a personal level the most I would do is try to encourage rightness rather than wrongness and then hope the individuals in question would do the right thing.
But I think that some (not all--probably few if any of those you're ranting against) are acting out of a misguided sense of compassion, and people do need to know that they can be loved as they are, without anyone needing to know about their private lives and without their having to act on it with legal sanctions and everyone's approval.
Thank you for this. This will serve as a source for my own write-up I am trying to write about on tolerance/intolerance and internet bullying.ReplyDelete
Every point you made, I agree with.
I agree MMReplyDelete
Sadly democracy is abused against its purpose. Prejudice exists against those who believe in traditional marriage because of a misconception that all who oppose gay marriage must be homophobic, bigoted or whatever other hate inspired name some might throw. This prejudice exists against more than just this as well.
And those who pursue gay marriage, I have considered that it may actually be because marriage as a whole is more commonly accepted definition of union than a civil union. But I do believe God conceived marriage as being a holy union between man and woman, not out of hatred or bigotry but because that is my belief. I do not hate homosexuals. Unfortunately some do hate homosexuals and also oppose gay marriage for this reason and because of this others are victims of something I cannot stand: 'being guilty by association'. A view that seems predominate amongst spreaders of hate. And I'm sick of seeing it being used a justification to persecute or rain hate on people.
This is little different than the contraceptive mandate in Obamacare. They want Catholics to act in a manner contrary to their faith. The Gays want people who on principle do not approve of their lifestyle, to act in violation of their conscience. It's just more of the war these New Age bolsheviks have launched against Religion, the Family, and Tradition.ReplyDelete
As with all your posts, MM, I totally agree. Unlike many leftists, I have no desire to participate in discourses on gay marriage or homosexuality in general. But if someone asks for my opinion, I will definitely not lie to them. If someone asks me, what I think about homosexuality, I will tell them, that I consider it to be a sin, and, that, for me personally, the idea seems disgusting. But neither do I have the power, nor the wish to tell two (or more) adults, what they may or may not do behind closed doors. If my answer is shocking to them, so be it...ReplyDelete
But why do such people seek approval for what they do? I think, it is because deep in their hearts they know, what they do is wrong. But they don't want to hear or even think about it. For example, liberals accuse the Church of being "intolerant" in questions of homosexuality, use of contraceptives, abortion etc. so ardently, because deep inside they know, that the Church is right, but would never ever admit to that. So, to get rid of their bad conscience, simply being "tolerated" is not enough, what they need is approval.
Some choice quotes on tolerance:ReplyDelete
"Tolerance is the virtue of men who have no convictions." -G.K. Chesterton
"Tolerance and apathy are the last virtues of a dying society." -Aristotle.
I absolutely agree with this; the pro-homosexual crowd is vehemently seeking approval for their unnatural and ungodly behaviors. Their hardest argument(s) I find to combat are those related to "inequality" with regard to inheritance, child guardianship, insurance, etc. The arguments you present don't necessarily diffuse these qualms, as they enter into the public sector.ReplyDelete
I believe in private property rights VERY strongly and I think anyone should be able to do whatever they please with their own property. The only one of those issues I would have a problem with is adopting children as that goes beyond doing what you want with your life and your property and involves another individual. If you have chosen a way of life that makes having children impossible, I see no reason why the government should be obliged to help you cheat mother nature to have your own when you are perfectly capable of having children were it not for the choices you freely make.Delete
I'd never actually thought of the adoption issue in that way; it's an additional argument to have to the more subjective (with regards to one's opinions, not Universal Truth) reply that such adoption corrupts children and that a mother and father are much better child-rearers.Delete
Also, I have realized that the usage of the word tolerance is itself interesting. By definition, tolerance means that we should allow for something erroneous/evil/distasteful/etc. to occur, but not to accept it. Which is exactly what you made very clear in your post. With the exception of those who actually hate homosexuals, we all tolerate them by not restricting them in the privacy of their own homes, yet also not accepting their wrongs in the public realm.
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So you think you should never do business with anyone who doesn't think exactly like you do. Sounds like the very definition of *intolerance* to me. And the marriage laws today are perfectly equal. Homosexuals cannot marry someone of the same gender and neither can heterosexuals. There are no laws against being homosexual and there are no laws that apply only to them and not to other people.Delete
I agree. I consider my social views to be fairly progressive, tinged with realism. I recognize that even if I did have any sort of personal desire to stop homosexual conduct that it would be a totally fruitless venture. I, like you, could not care less who anyone carries on with, be they of the same sex or not. I do think that committed gay couples should be entitled to the financial benefits that committed married couples receive though, especially if they are raising children. I realize I may be alone amongst fellow monarchists in this view, but it pains me not. Being a monarchist is, in and of itself, something many see as an unorthodox position to take in these strange times we live in. Regardless of my own personal views, I think the agitation from both ends of the political spectrum is quite pointless. Gays are not, nor were they ever, excluded from, or treated poorly at Chik-fil-a restaurants. This uproar stems from one man's PERSONAL viewpoint, an opinion he shares with many, and is (or should be) perfectly allowed to state as he pleases.ReplyDelete
The Lord our God defined marriage for us with our first parents, "[T]he Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, 'This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was staken out of man.' Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh" (Genesis 2:22-24 ESV). Our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus, reaffirms His Father, "But from the beginning of creation, 'God made them male and female.' 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer two but one flesh" (Mark 10:6-8 ESV).ReplyDelete
That is the definition of marriage, period. The Word of Man tries desperately to discredit and denounce his Creator, but what his Creator ordained and established since creation cannot be denied. A man and a man is not one flesh but two fleshes; and a woman and a woman is not one flesh but two fleshes. Homosexuality and homosexual marriage are perversions of the natural order ordained and established by God. Only one man and one woman is marriage since both correspond to each other. The Word of God will always trump the Word of Man.
That is one of the clearest arguments I have seen on the issue. Thank you, sir, for taking a stand and for your eloquent defense of the culture and tradition that we cherish.ReplyDelete
I have based my most recent post on the Confederate Colonel blog on this article - http://www.confederatecolonel.com/2012/08/what-does-tolerance-mean/
Thanks for the link and, just for the record, let me say that I left out the Biblical argument because it seemed immaterial to the specific point I was trying to make. I cannot approve of homosexual behavior because God said it's wrong. Simple. However, this was not about my view of the behavior but rather the response of those who commit or condone such behavior to my refusal to approve of it. Telling people they should oppose the homosexual lifestyle because the Bible says it's wrong doesn't, I would think, accomplish much. Those who accept the Bible as authoritative already know it and oppose homosexuality for that reason. And, on the other hand, those pushing the homosexual agenda, I would think, probably couldn't care less what the Bible says. And that attitude as well is something they will ultimately be called to account for. Deo Vindice!Delete
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Update: fixing spelling error!!ReplyDelete
Here are some of the liberals’ paradoxes:
1. They “remind” churches, especially the conservatives ones about the separation between church and state when they passed the bill that recognizes gay civil union. Yet, now they “order” those churches to recognize gay religious marriage. “The enforcement” is definitely a breach to the concept of the separation of state and church.
2. They endorse multiculturalism, yet at the same time they also endorse miscegenation.
a. Aim of multiculturalism: the creation of a diverse society that can live together in harmony and peace.
b. Result of miscegenation: the absorption of the minority into the majority, thus creating some sort of “honorary whites” in Europe (non European stocks who are European by culture) or the creation of single new race (“Caucafrica”, etc) and a new culture that is basically a merger between the two existing cultures.
c. So miscegenation and multiculturalism are basically paradoxical.
d. Some of the perpetrators of miscegenation claim that they are proud of their heritage (tradition), yet they choose to marry into another culture / heritage. After all traditional German culture is different from Afro-German culture (the culture of African people in Germany), etc.
3. They have created a constitution that governs everything, including the role of the Monarch. Yet, when The Grand Duke of Luxembourg refused to sign the euthanasia bill, the PM “revoked” The Duke’s right to sanction laws. “If a bill is already approved by the parliament, then the Duke has no right to reject it”, said the PM. So, had he attended the Sanhedrin Trial, I bet he would approve the crucifixion of Christ, because that was after all the will of the majority.
4. “He, who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7) is used incessantly by liberals’ to mock conservatives. They use this verse in the issue of capital punishment, pre-marital sex, abortion, euthanasia, life sentence, etc. Yet, liberals don’t believe in the concept of sin; for liberals sins are just natural urges of man (the real form of man). Funnily, they are the one that actually pass the “prerequisite” to throw the first stone at Mary Magdalene.
5. Gay people say that there is nothing wrong with them and their life style. I bet if one day a cure for homosexuality is discovered, we can see how hypocritical they really are when they’re lining up to get the curer.
As a liberal Protestant who wholeheartedly admires constitutional monarchy I have to diasagree with all of you. I live in Massachusetts where gay marriage is legal as well as in New York. I know and have witnessed wonderful marriages both gay and straight. The skies did not fall in on Massachusetts when gay marriage was instituted. In fact, Massachusetts leads the nation on many social indicators from student scores, infant mortality rates and life expectancy. We are proud of our state and many of us are glad to be here! I know that gay people DO NOT CHOOSE to be gay; I know scientific studies and I know many gay people. They knew they were different from birth; all they want is to live their lives and not be discriminated against; as we all do. Gay marriage does not threaten me as a heterosexual woman; I am not fearing the end of the world. I respect all opinions and I know the Catholic Church like many religions oppose gay marriage. THAT is their right. My faith accepts gay marriage and treats them equally as straight marriages. THAT to me is Christianity. "Love one another as I have loved thee." "Faith, Hope and Love and the greatest of these is Love." I mean no disrespect to the other people on this blog but realize we all walk different paths to God.ReplyDelete
Are you a liberal protester who can read? NO ONE SAID the skies would fall, this has nothing to do with literacy, child mortality rates or life spans (where did that even come from?) and NO ONE SAID gay "marriage" would "threaten" heterosexuals. Did you even READ the article? The article didn't have anything to do with whether or not people choose to be gay either, though you are absolutely wrong about "scientific studies". You cannot tell if someone is gay by looking at a tissue sample or doing a blood test.Delete
What this was about was people who do not approve of gay marriage (for whatever reason) being slandered, ridiculed, called names and having their businesses threatened by the government. That is not respecting all opinions -that is punishing people because of what they think. And please, please, don't start the Bible thumping with me. I can pull out 3 verses for everyone of yours. You are not the interpreter of holy writ and if "your faith" sees no difference between traditional marital relations and sodomy it is no sort of "Christianity" I could recognize. Why pretend?
I speak from my place in the world; I never said I interpret holy writ. I did not criticize Catholicism please show the same respect for my Protestantism. Arrogance and condescension toward other beliefs is one of the reasons the world is in the mess it is today. We respectfully disagree. I for myself will not patronize companies that work behind the scenes for discrimination; that is my choice as an American. I still love this website and all the history you present; it is extremely enlightening.Delete
I did not criticize "Protestantism". I said simply that I do not recognize as any sort of "Christiany" that ignores Biblical commandments as well as tradition. As for patronizing companies that "work behind the scenes for discrimination" I have a hard time believing that. Can you honestly tell me that you research all the money given by all the companies that produce every product you buy? I certainly don't. I do business with companies based on the quality of the products they produce. The private opinions of the owners and what they choose to do with their own money is their own business and none of mine. The owner of Amazon.com recently gave a great deal of money to the pro-gay "marriage" lobby and I still do business with them. In fact, one of the movies I recently bought via Amazon starred a homosexual Wiccan. I approve of neither but to me that is immaterial to the fact that the movie is one of my favorites and the actor performs well in it, which is my only criteria. Which one of us, do you think, would the impartial observer say is the intolerant one?Delete
This was the point of the actual article. Were I to adopt your attitude I would spend all my time researching who to boycott and even withdraw my support for a number of royals and reigning monarchs if certain sources are to be believed. That would seem grossly intolerant to me and extremely narrow-minded. I admire the writings and learning of King James I of Britain (a Protestant btw). Many believe he was either a homosexual or a bisexual. If so, I would not approve of his sexual habits but I would still admire his writings. Yet, if I followed your example, I should condemn him altogether because of what he did "behind the scenes".
I am gratified you enjoy the blog, but while I don't give money to parties or campaigns, when our state constitution was amended to define marriage as 'one man and one woman' (to save you any worry I will tell you) I voted "yes", so you should probably boycott me as well.
I would like to chime in one the so-called "scientific studies," if I may. All unbelievers and, unfortunately, some believers, often route to "peer reviewed," which, by the way, is a farcical practice, scientific studies for answers to everything. Definition is a matter of importance to any student of logic. Sadly, the term 'science' has been misused, abused, and tainted by modern man. The term 'science' was unknown to the English language, thus it was borrowed from the Latin scientia, which means "to know or knowledge." How do we know or gain knowledge? The Lord our God endowed His creation with senses, i.e., sight, hearing, tasting, smelling, and feeling. Not only did God provide His creation these senses for survival, but also to see Him, to hear Him, to taste Him, to smell Him, and to feel Him. In other words, to know, to understand, and to appreciate Him and His beautiful, awe-striking creation. The five senses enable us to know something or to gain knowledge. The five senses build facts and from those facts, we use our Creator gifted faculty, although it is weak and limited, to deduce or to induce. Our five senses are science and everything else follows. Without all five senses, how could His creation function and survive? Granted, some individuals are born without or sustained injury to one of the five senses, but they still manage to function and to survive fairly well.Delete
With all of that said, yes, mankind has come a long way in science since God's majestic creation. In fact, the Word of God has stood the test of time with regard to scientific and archeological discoveries; no other religious literature can say the same. At any rate, "scientific studies" do not prove homosexuality to be innate. I have read "scientific studies" regarding homosexuality too. Unbelievers allege that homosexuals, bisexuals, transsexuals, etc. cannot change. In other words, their circumstance is innate thus unavoidable and inflexible. Quite the contrary. God tells us that sinners can inherit the Kingdom of God provided they repent and change their behavior with the path established by His son Jesus Christ in the Gospel.
Homosexuality is not innate but an election. God clearly ordained homosexuality as a sin. To prove that homosexuality is a choice, not innate, read the following carefully, "For their women EXCHANGED natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise GAVE UP natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error" (Romans 1:26-27 ESV). By exchanging or giving up A for B means a choice. Some heterosexuals then made a choice (i.e. exchanging or giving up) to become homosexuals. If the heterosexuals then elected to become homosexuals, then heterosexuals today can choose to become homosexuals. It is true for the reverse as well, that is, homosexuals can become heterosexuals. Read the following carefully, "[D]o you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such WERE some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God" (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 ESV).
Notice the past plural (i.e. were)? The homosexuals changed their sinful behavior (i.e. homosexuality) to righteous behavior (i.e. heterosexuality) with the help of the Gospel and the Holy Spirit. Therefore, heterosexuals can become homosexuals and homosexuals can revert to heterosexuals. Sexuality is choice, not innate as the weak, limited, and perverted Word of Man informs us. If the sinners then changed their behavior, then the sinners of today can change their behavior too. Yet, modern man often looks to science for cures and he is always let down because science never bestows promises. Unbelievers often charge that God let them down, they grew angry, thus left and started using "reason" to understand things; yet, they come to realize that science, too, lets them down. How ironic?Delete
There is no concrete, scientific evidence proving homosexuality is inborn with humans and other creatures. Scientific research does suggest (key word--suggest), however, that homosexuality may be, not certain, caused by a mixture of developmental factors. The scientific and medical communities are divided and there are many theories surrounding homosexuality. Theory is not fact vice versa. What we have regarding homosexuality is theory, not fact. Each side of the homosexual coin has its theories and both sides are at odds. There is no consensus in the scientific and medical communities as they are separated. Lastly, not one side of the homosexual coin has produced persuasive or conclusive evidence proving homosexuality is instinctive. I am still waiting to see concrete evidence proving homosexuality is innate. The Word of God always supersedes the Word of Man.
I agree that science isn't the best case for proving whether being gay is determined at birth or not. While I do read a number of scientific journals that have presented a number of hypotheses regarding factors that could have caused it (I can recall, off the top of my head, scientists attempting to pin it to any number of genes; one of the more interesting studies noted that self described homosexuals seemed to in general possess less serotonin in their brains [for those unfamiliar serotonin is a signal molecule often associated with satiation and sleepyness] than those described as heterosexual) I've yet to see anything that even seemed concrete. My belief is that while some choose to "be" homosexual (I call these people "bisexual" as I believe it to be more accurate of a term) others genuinely are born with that mindset. Please don't take this view as a sign of disrespect for any of your beliefs. ignisforte, your posts remind me of my own personal feelings on this several years ago. It took years for me to develop the feelings I have on it. The most important catalyst in this change was personal friendships with a number of people that, for lack of a better way to put it, turned out to have been gay. I can recall one person in particular, an excellent kid, good Catholic, from a good family, always active in church and the community that was nearly destroyed by the internal struggle that he underwent attempting to suppress these feelings. Seeing that firsthand... I don't know. It was moving. Moving to the point that it changed my mind on the issue. This poor kid wanted nothing more than to be "normal". I've never seen someone try so hard to subvert themselves. It nearly drove him insane. Fortunately, when he made peace with himself his parents were very accepting. Having seen what he did to himself though... I don't know. I think some people are genuinely born with this, and I think it's our duty as Christians to reach out to them, even if it makes us (myself being a Roman Catholic) uncomfortable. I realize this is a thoroughly "modern" view and I really don't aim to offend, or imply any of you are in any way wrong; I just figured I'd add to the fascinating discussion going on. I think you should add a forum to your site Mr. MadMonarchist. I adore discussing things of this sort, as others seem to as well!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for a well written article. I am an admirer of the highest order!ReplyDelete